London 2012 Hockey: GB skipper Kate Walsh to return

Great Britain captain Kate Walsh is expected to return to the Olympic Village after having a plate fitted to her fractured jaw.

She left hospital in east London on Wednesday morning and no decision has yet been taken about whether she can resume playing in the tournament.

Walsh, 32, was hit with a stick during GB's opening 4-0 win over Japan on Sunday and underwent surgery on Monday.

Britain face Belgium on Thursday having won both of their first two fixtures.

Walsh will face fitness tests as well as an evaluation of her overall welfare before team coach Danny Kerry decides whether she can continue at London 2012.

The medical advice received by the team is that there is nothing to prevent her playing. Kerry said on Tuesday  that the surgeon had told him that Walsh's jaw was now actually stronger as a result of having the plate inserted.

Earlier this year Walsh was part of the GB side beaten 1-0 by Argentina in the final of the Champions Trophy, and her vast experience makes her a vital component of the team.

She has 288 caps, having made her debut in 1999, and has skippered the side for nine years.

She is a double winner of the Hockey Writers' Club UK Player of the Year award, and in 2007 was named Great Britain Hockey Athlete of the Year.

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